Monday, January 23, 2012

Bacon-y post judging the baconfest: fun, kind of chaotic, bacon-y.  I'm naturally very judgmental (I try to chill on it) so maybe judging things is my true calling? I shoulda been a judge.  I think the rules of submission were not that clear to people so some people who just submitted bacon they had cured (e.g. Jaymes from Fat Face) got a little bit screwed.  You see, other people submitted dishes they had made with the bacon they cured, so that gave them an advantage over just a slice o' bacon.  Jaymes also submitted mini versions of her bacon and egg popsicle (it is very good and custardy, not gross like you might be thinking) which probably would have won if there was a bacon dessert category, which there probably should have been.

The judges couldn't come to a consensus so we had to give numerical scores and tally them.  My favorite dish was Mulvaney's "tongue in cheek" which was bacon-wrapped tongue with a tomatillo salsa.  The bacon was very succulent and the flavors melded coherently into a whole, delicious bite.  The guy who won works for the Grange and he submitted a whole platter of dishes.  Some of the dishes were so-so (undercooked beans) but he won on the strength of a bacon cheddar biscuit sandwich loaded up with bacon jam, Canadian bacon, regular bacon, and an herbed slaw.  It was a dish I would definitely revisit at a restaurant.  It was fun chatting with Chris Macias as we judged, and I did indeed call for a palate-cleanser of bourbon on the rocks, which tasted fucking great with all that smoky bacon.  CM, if you're reading, what was the name of that type of pig?

Some pictures, including the Verge party, after the jump

 Cantillon makes this special brew, Lou Pepe, sometimes with fruit (even raspberries once), sometimes without.  This one is a gueuze.  Tasty and approachable.  This could be a beginner gueuze if you could get your hands on it.
 Perhaps this will not shock you as much as it did me, but did you know Corti Bros does not carry King Arthur flour? This can't be an accident, I'm guessing it's not Darrell approved?  They do carry a wide variety of Moore's Mill products, so I decided to go for it.  This company intrigues me.  It's based in Redding and has a store, but does not have a website?  Mysterious.
 I don't know why, but roasting a chicken that had been marinating in fish sauce just sounds really good to me.  The thought just popped into my brain.  I made a marinade of fish sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar and chili paste and marinated it for a day.  The chicken was great. Salty and a little bit sweet.  I also made some green beans with shrimp paste.  It's gratifying to use shrimp paste that has been sitting in the cabinet for 6 months because I can be like, "suck it Miller, I told you I would use it!"
 Segue into...the Verge Party.  Everyone knew this would crack off, and it did.  People were hanging out in the tents.  I spent some quality time in MM's tent, watching 90210.  God, Steve is such a dick!

 Christine Shields!  She was really good.  She's playing January 28th at the Blue Lamp.

 I took a million pictures of Fine Steps because they looked so cool with the projection behind them.  That was a great idea to project short art films.  It was so fun to watch.
 These dudes were rocking out and having a great time.  Can't wait for the record!

One of the shorts that played (well, a couple of minutes of it) was Cut Piece by Yoko Ono.  She looks like such a badass in it. Turn down the music, which somebody added.


beckler said...

by the way, as you may or may not have heard, bacon fest was off the chain! Pangaea had their biggest day ever and Magpie had their biggest breakfast ever. Good job, guys!

Anonymous said...

thanks for judging. you're booked for next year again--and it will be way more organized. first years are always a clusterfuck, right?

Chris M. said...

Heckabacon! That was bacon from the mighty Mangalitsa pig, as cured and prepared by Stan Moore of The Kitchen. Here's a piece I wrote last year about Mangalitsa, and Corti Brothers is starting to carry this pig regularly now, but may be in between orders at the moment. Definitely try the Mangalitsa prosciutto at the deli ... it's $39.99 a lb. (oof!) but got damn it's good!

Liv Moe said...

That picture of Michele is so cute! I love it!

Anonymous said...

If that Lou Pepe is a beginner's gueuze, would a more complex and worldly brew be the Hitchhiker's Gueuze to the Galaxy?

beckler said...

Clusterfuck is too strong. It went pretty well. I would love to judge and I really think there has to be a dessert category. And maybe a cocktail category?

Anonymous said...

If that Lou Pepe gueuze dressed in drag in order to research a story for their high school paper, would it be Just One of the Gueuze?

beckler said...

I just realized that one of the organizers of Baconfest, NM, was a vegetarian until not too recently. That's pretty funny. I guess you could say he went whole hog.

How about a musical about a combination Belgian toy factory/brewery called....Gueuze and Dolls